Seed-Grown Amaryllis - Are blooms the same or different?

rockgnomeSeptember 24, 2008

Please forgive me if this question has been asked before. I've been searching on google but I can only find results of people asking about how to grow the seeds.

I have a friend who grew a batch of Amaryllis seeds a few years ago and none of them have bloomed yet. He said a friend self-pollinated her red Amaryllis (She has a couple so it may not be "self-pollination") and he just expects a bunch of red blooms to come. He's a sucker for growing things from seeds!

I'm curious to know if the blooms are usually the same or if there's a possibility that they can be different?

If an Amaryllis is self-pollinated (Is that possible? Or only pollination between two of the same colored plants?), Are the blooms the same or do grandparents still play a part in the offspring?

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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)

This may sound existential and all...but no matter how hard you try, will the seeds not yield slightly different flowers when compared to the parents? The basis behind genetics is diversity in an attempt to retain vigor of the species-- if the combination of genetics yields a week being, it is not likely to continue its line, vice versa. I would think that in terms of a specific variety of amarylli you could control the consistency of the products (the new bulbs) but if you just haphazardly pollinated like many like to do (to just see what they come up with), the variety is in-exhaustible. It is akin to a tangent or parabola curve that gets infinitely closer to another line but never reaches it-- or the shades of grey between black and white.

I could dig deeper into my college genetics classes but I just about blew a fuse on my existential self in the above paragraph!



    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 11:35PM
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LOL! I almost over-heated a brain circuit or two just reading your response, Ryan, but I believe you are correct! The only way to get an exact duplicate plant would be to clone the parent.

In any event, within a few years, and with proper culture, the baby bulbs will be mature enough to bloom, and the mystery will be solved!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 11:07AM
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Ah! Then it will be a surprise. I like that. It's pretty neat to watch him grow plants but a mystery of what the blooms will look like is even more fun.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 7:35PM
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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)


Many many members here pollinate their blooms-- almost to the point of insanity, and I mean that in the most complimentary way! They keep records of what they pollinate and keep very good organization-- but this is all in an attempt to get a new, beautiful and unique flower in the end. Jodik is one of is Maria and I'm sure for the two of them there are at least a dozen more! It is my hope that by hanging around here and dazzling them with my wit, humor and conversational wizardry that they'll at the very least give me a peak of their results.

The trick in the end is whether or not one can find a bulb that is unique and gorgeous, ergo, people want to buy it, AND be consistent in its mass production. Gardeners may appear unstable, but their production cannot! ;o)

I cannot wait for people to begin posting their new bulbs. I'm sure there will be some amazing blooms.



p.s. I have a BUNCH of amaryllis seeds. Perhaps they are too old now (they were made this past winter)-- but I'll never grow them. Anyone want them?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 8:34PM
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mariae(9b Vero Beach Fl)

Ryan, If you don't mind, I will want some (of the seeds). I am always interested in the outcome, and don't mind waiting.
According to the little of genetics I understand and in a very, very simplistic explanation, the consistency of what you can see on the progeny depends on the phenotype (characteristics you can see) and the genotype (basically the gene pool and mainly all the characteristic you can and cannot see, depending on the dominancy and other phenomena I'm not able or capacitate to explain)of the parents.
And this is why growing amaryllis from seed makes it so interesting, at list for me, and I am just beginning, I can't imagine what other people with much more experience can tell.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 10:31PM
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ryan820(z5b Denver, Colorado, USA)


I just found them! Send me a message with your address and I'll get them on their way.

The parents are likely to be:

Picotee, Jewel, Minerva, Apple Blossom, Royal Velvet

They're all intermixed.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 11:26PM
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"You will never know unless you try."

I'm prety sure those were in the thoughts of the very first hippeastrum hybriders in the middle 18th century when they placed those pollens in that stigma.

It is a very long wait and a lot of work. But in the end, it will be worth it for you know that you had the GUTS to do it. Not a lot of people have that nowadays... unfortunately. The most valuable things in this world are priceless and not the $9.95 tag of a bulb.

Happy fall gardening to all!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 11:49PM
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brigarif Khan

I am one of the insanes of Ryan, but I am in love with my insanity. It is SSSSOOOOO REWARDING.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 2:19AM
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I wondered about this very thing when I accidentally pollinated the Amaryllis in my office. There was only one plant, so it had to be a self-pollination.

In theory, I think Ryan is correct and so is Jodik.

In my case, I self pollinated a Picotee. The three seedlings that have bloomed look just like the parent. At least they do to my eye. But then Minerva looks like StarGazer, so my eye is not that great.

My theory goes something like this. Picotee must have a genetic makeup in which most of the genes are matched pairs. In other words, it did not matter much which gene of the pair wound up in the offspring.

I do wonder how often this is the case.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 6:24PM
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Certain genes are dominant, and will show up as the same characteristic in offspring, as in parent. For example... in humans, brown eyes are a dominant trait... if Mom has blue eyes and Dad brown, chances are fairly good that the majority of offspring will have brown eyes. The same could be said of flowers... although, I'm not certain which traits are dominant in hippeastrums. I would assume, by looking at the more popular hybrids on the market, that red or red and white are dominant colors. Pink also seems to be a dominant color.

I will know a lot more about which traits are dominant and which are recessive as I further my breeding program, and my first batch of seedlings mature and bloom. I'll know even more after I get blooms from the third generation... years down the road!

In plant breeding, patience is quite a virtue... from seed to bloom can be several years. My husband and myself have been breeding American Bulldogs for the last 25 years, or so, and the time span between generations is relatively short. Seeing the parents is not a good indicator of what the offspring will be like... seeing the grandparents, other litters from the same pairing, and other relatives are better indicators of what can be expected. It's important to keep detailed records, and to utilize every tool at your disposal when breeding... the outcome of future breedings can be guessed at much better, with a more educated outlook.

I use some of the same tools when breeding my plants... it gives me a better "picture" of what I can expect.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 8:54PM
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